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Rules And Rituals Members Of The Church Of Satan Have To Follow

Satanism generally has a bad reputation, the cultivation of which can mostly be attributed to TV, movies, and print media that portray the religion as a dark cult. When most people think of the Church of Satan, they're likely to picture sacrificial offerings, devil worshiping, or magical dark rituals - but these ideas are, at best, exaggerated, and at worst, completely inaccurate. Satanism has always mainly pursued enlightenment and individualism, emphasizing the preservation of life and making the most of each day.

While this ideology may strike some as a somewhat anarchistic system, Satanists - like members of any other organized school of thought - do have specific rules and regulations by which they have to abide. While they're generally common sense, these requirements are designed to ensure Satanists continue to adhere to the central ideas of Satanism.

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  • Members Must Preserve Their Own Lives Above All Else
    Photo: Gustave Doré / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Members Must Preserve Their Own Lives Above All Else

    The most valuable thing for most Satanist groups, including the Church of Satan, is an individual’s own life. To that end, members should do everything they reasonably can to preserve their own lives. This not only means staying alive, but also living one's life to its fullest potential, and staying grounded in the present rather than wallowing in regrets of the past.

    The Satanic Bible states, “Life is the great indulgence - death the great abstinence! Therefore make the most of the HERE AND NOW!... Choose ye this day, this hour, for no redeemer liveth!”

  • Overuse Of Substances And Alcohol Is Not Allowed

    The Church of Satan is explicitly clear regarding their disdain for the overuse of substances. In fact, the church is vehemently opposed to recklessly consuming anything that could potentially endanger the body, including alcohol. Any such action poses a threat to what should be a Satanist’s most important possession: their own life.

    While recreational drinking and substance use are accepted, users are prohibited from partaking in any rituals while inebriated. Such behavior could pose a risk to all those present.

  • Eleven Satanic Rules Dictate Members' Treatment Of Others

    Much like other religions that abide by sets of rules - such as the Ten Commandments - the Church of Satan employs their regulations that members must follow. The first half of The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth dictates how members should treat others and how they should behave in public.

    These include not giving opinions unless specifically asked and not complaining to anyone unless they are prepared and willing to listen. This set of rules also tells Satanists they should respect individuals when inside their homes and should not make intimate advances "unless given the mating signal."

  • Harming People And Animals Is Prohibited

    The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth also prohibit members from harming other living creatures, except in specific circumstances. Aggression towards innocent people and children is strictly forbidden. The only instance in which the harm of others is permitted is if a Satanist is acting in self-defense.

    Similar rules are in place to protect the lives of animals - they must not be slain unless they are being prepared for food.

  • Stupidity Is The Most Egregious Satanic Sin

    Members of the Church of Satan must avoid committing any of the Nine Satanic Sins. The first and most abhorrent of these is stupidity; Satanists must learn to "see through the tricks" of society and the media, as they "cannot afford to be stupid."

    Other sins include pretentiousness, solipsism, self-deceit, herd conformity, lack of perspective, forgetfulness, counterproductive pride, and lack of aesthetics. All of these sins are designed to form Satanists into independent individuals who strive to be leaders, rather than followers of the rest of humanity.

  • Rituals Are Optional
    Photo: Charles Foster / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Rituals Are Optional

    In keeping with the Satanist ideals of individuality and self-determination, there are no real rituals that members are required to perform. While there are dozens of magic ceremonies, ranging from Halloween worship to "compassion rituals" meant to spread goodwill, the church recommends these only be carried out by those who honestly want to experience their effects.

    The same is advised for more intensive or destructive rituals. The only ceremonies specifically encouraged by the Church of Satan are ones to do with significant days for the individual, such as a birthday or anniversary.